Recruitment company contacted me

27 posts in this topic

Posted

Hi everyone,

A recuitment company (example: Hays or computerfutures) contacted me for a job with a client of theirs. During our first conversation they shared the name of the client with me.

AFter checking the client's website to do my homework, I noticed they had other job openings which are more fitting to me.

Now here's the thing, the recruitment company wants me to be working for them, and I would be placed at that client for 3 months, then the client either takes me from the company for private hire, or we go on working with the recruitment company as man in the middle...

So anyway, now that I found other positions, is it ok to apply directly for those other positions? or should I inform the placement company and cancel out the middle man for these other jobs (not the one I was contacted about).

Any thoughts? on one hand I feel it's unethical, but on the other hand it's not like it was confidential information, anyone can access the client'S website and see the "careers" section... still, they did bring it to my attention...

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Posted

Have you signed a framework contract (Rahmenvertrag)? It may be unethical, but it isn't illegal (to my knowledge). I did something similar myself, back before I was self-employed. One company even brought me to the client for the interview, and the client wanted me. The company didn't want to pay me the amount I wanted, so I went to another recruitment company that was supporting the same project, told them the client wants me, and how much I wanted to earn.

She called the client, confirmed this and agreed to pay me the amount that I requested.

The original company, who had flatly refused to pay me that amount, was suddenly prepared to pay it, "Of course we would have paid you that amount! We were still negotiating.", but it was too late.

** I'm not a lawyer and I definitely wouldn't suggest this to freelancers, if you ever want to work again...

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Posted

They are two different things, so you can apply directly for those positions which are advertised directly by the company.

The only time it would be a problem is:

1) if it was the exact same job - but this is very unlikely since most client companies have jobs they have defined as direct, i.e. their own personnel, added to headcount and jobs they want to occupy through a contracting agency (even if at a later stage, they may still change that to a permanent contract)

2) if you actually get the contract posotion through the recruiter and then change to that position, or another similar position/department (even if you find the position yourself, the assumption will be that you managed to get the position due to the contact established by the agency). Normally the agencies would however cover themselves for this (Hays definitely does) with a clause in their contracts preventing this from happening...but even here, there is leeway, as the agencies don't want to upset their clients. You would have to talk to the agency upfront if this started to look like happening. If the position is at the same client company, but a totally different role, department etc, you'd be fine doing a switch anyway.

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Posted

Hi Jay,

no I did not sign anything yet, it was all verbal so far, they sent me 2 emails (job description and name of the comapny), but I did not respond with anything wirtten so far, except on the phone, I told them what I wanted salary-wise and that they may send my application.

Well for that exact position, I wouldn't want to go over the company as I really would feel bad about it, and I am sure it will bite me in the ass one day sooner or later.

But as far as the other vacancies go... do I have any moral or legal obligation to that company? or can I just apply for whatever position I want as long as they did not come to me with it?

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Posted

2) if you actually get the contract posotion through the recruiter and then change to that position, or another similar position/department (even if you find the position yourself, the assumption will be that you managed to get the position due to the contact established by the agency). Normally the agencies would however cover themselves for this (Hays definitely does) with a clause in their contracts preventing this from happening...but even here, there is leeway, as the agencies don't want to upset their clients. You would have to talk to the agency upfront if this started to look like happening. If the position is at the same client company, but a totally different role, department etc, you'd be fine doing a switch anyway.

But even if I am applying before having any sort of contract signed with the agency? and it's a different position...

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Posted

The recruitment agency made a mistake by even telling you the company's name. I almost always get an offer for "a large bank in Frankfurt" or a "large logistics company in Hannover".

I would probably try to be *ethical* first, and ask the recruitment company, if they are also filling the other positions for the client. If they are, you could go through them, and I probably would.

If they aren't providing the support for the other positions, I don't see anything wrong morally or legally.

** Again, I'm not a lawyer

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Posted

maybe "large" is the key word here :P

But anyway, thanks for the advice, I was thinking of it... but what if the agency itself thinks am not fit for that specific job and would not want to push me for it (wanting to push 1 candidate for 1 job), but I and eventually the client would disagree?

I would have then spoken to the agency, opened their eyes, AND applied for the job myself...

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Posted

No, no, wassimk...see the first line of my post. You should be fine - I have done exactly the same a few times (e.g. contract enquiry at Audi, and parallel I have applied for a job directly at Audi; same with webasto...and others). An agency may mention to me the name of the client, and it's someone I don't know very well - so the first thing I do is check their website, and of course I check out what jobs they have going too.

It's only an issue if the position is so closely related that the agency could assume you got the idea from them (maybe if the client was a very small company, they could make a claim that any job there would be related).

You will practically never see the same job advertised directly and by an agency (what you WILL find is the same contract job advertised by different agencies).

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Posted

I don't understand your post #7. You can't apply directly for the SAME job as the one the agency is suggsting you for.

In the case of a contract enquiry through an agency: they may well suggest you and a few other candidates. Normally they do this by forwarding the profiles to the client and not freely giving an opinion on who is better. Only if the client asks for a recommendation, the agency will make one (this happened to me in one case - where the agency told me about it - and it only happened because the client was so under time pressure they said they would prefer to only interview one person, and then see if they needed to look at someone else. The agency recommended ME :-) )

In the case where there is another position, advertised directly by the company, you apply directly and the agency has nothing to do with recommending you or not.

Or did you mean something else?

Oh and btw, jaycool, the situation you detailed in #2 doesn't always turn out well. I knew someone who was offered to a client for the same job by two agencies. The first agency had offered her amount X, and the second agency offered her more. However, once it came time for the offer from the client, the first agency kicked up a fuss as they had offered her first - and in the end the client decided not to take her on at all rather than have the fight with the agencies. Since she told me this, I have always been careful with agencies to get at least a clear description of the job they are suggesting me for, and if I suspect I may have the same enquiry twice, I mention that upfront to the agencies.

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Posted

Oh and btw, jaycool, the situation you detailed in #2 doesn't always turn out well.

I understand that. I was very working in a very small, specialized sector of programming at the time, and the client really wanted me.

Business is business, and if you think any of these recruitment agencies give a crap about you, other than what revenue you can bring in, you couldn't be more wrong. Therefore, when recruitment agency A offered me about a thousand marks a month less than I wanted (and knew I could get), I had no pangs of guilt or any feeling of needing to be ethical, when I went on to recruitment agency B for the same position.

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Posted

oh, I woud have no qualms about doing it either. I know what margins some of these agencies earn and I'm pretty sure I have on occasion missed a contract because I was too expensive (well, once the agency had dumped 30% on top of my freelance, no-personnel-costs-incurring, rate)...I'd only not want to miss out entirely if the client backed out.

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Posted

I don't understand your post #7. You can't apply directly for the SAME job as the one the agency is suggsting you for.

In the case of a contract enquiry through an agency: they may well suggest you and a few other candidates. Normally they do this by forwarding the profiles to the client and not freely giving an opinion on who is better. Only if the client asks for a recommendation, the agency will make one (this happened to me in one case - where the agency told me about it - and it only happened because the client was so under time pressure they said they would prefer to only interview one person, and then see if they needed to look at someone else. The agency recommended ME :-) )

In the case where there is another position, advertised directly by the company, you apply directly and the agency has nothing to do with recommending you or not.

Or did you mean something else?

Actually that post was in response to the suggestion that I tell the agency about the other positions, and see if they work with these vacancies or not. And that was where I was wondering if it would backfire or not.

Say the agency contacted me for a Win admin position, and I find the IT project manager more suitable once I get to know the client, if I ask them "hey what about the it porject manager?) they might tell me that would find me not suitable (even though I myself would think otherwise), and that they will see what happens with the win admin instead.

Then if I would apply for the IT project manager, and if I get it, then they might make a fuss that I did indeed talk to them about it (making the client unhappy with a rocking boat and just throw me out, like what happened with you when you were between 2 agencies).

But if I would keep my mouth shut, simply apply to the vacancy they did not mention to me... I would/should be safe... especially when you said

In the case where there is another position, advertised directly by the company, you apply directly and the agency has nothing to do with recommending you or not.

.

I do realize that they don't give a damn about me except for how much money/profit I can bring in to them, but I do however dislike the idea of stabbing in the back, or stepping over people to reach a higher place... what if our paths cross in the future? they might (just might) remember this incident and decide not to do business with me anymore due to (in their opinion) my bad work ethics...

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Posted

... I do however dislike the idea of stabbing in the back, or stepping over people to reach a higher place... what if our paths cross in the future?

Wassimk, I do think you're overthinking this. Treat it as two completely different things:

1. They contacted you regarding a specific position. If you're interested, then go ahead and talk to them about this.

2. You happened to see there are openings for positions you would consider yourself suited for. Apply directly, as this is where you found the information.

This is NOT back-stabbing or unethical, this is perfectly legitimate (and ethical) job-searching behaviour powered by self-initiative.

Good luck, btw!

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Posted

Say the agency contacted me for a Win admin position, and I find the IT project manager more suitable once I get to know the client, if I ask them "hey what about the it porject manager?)

Then if I would apply for the IT project manager, and if I get it, then they might make a fuss that I did indeed talk to them about it (making the client unhappy with a rocking boat and just throw me out, like what happened with you when you were between 2 agencies).

But if I would keep my mouth shut, simply apply to the vacancy they did not mention to me... I would/should be safe..

Are you sure both the positions are in the same area? Could be totally different people making the decisions, doing the interviewing.

Normally for the interview for the contract job, someone from the agency will go with you - there's no way during that interview you could start asking about other jobs.

If however you take the contract, and while working for the client you can see this other position is there and you want it, then talk directly to the client/boss and ask about it.

On the other hand, you can be sure that clients also are always thinking in their own interests. If at any time, they realise you would be more suited for a higher level position, they will find a way of sliding you into that.

In any case, you should apply directly to the company for the other position, as they may be different people and you will then become known to the other department too...and as I ay, for the one the agency hasn't advertised, they (officially at least) know nothng about it and it is none of their business.

One other point: it is by no means certain that the permanent position will pay more. Strange, but true. You can sometimes get more money through an agency contract than through the client company direct (because they use different calculation methods for headcount jobs and purchased services).

I agree with you about not stabbing the agencies in the back, btw. It's just that with the business of agencies, the barrier to where it becomes stabbing is maybe a little lower/further away. But I try to be as open as possible with the agencies, and as an example the agency I alluded to before who whacked 30% on top is actually one I am happy to work for, and in general they do tend to command higher rates and they are pretty open with me too.

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Posted

I do however dislike the idea of stabbing in the back, or stepping over people to reach a higher place... what if our paths cross in the future? they might (just might) remember this incident and decide not to do business with me anymore due to (in their opinion) my bad work ethics...

You're probably right that that bridge would probably be burned, although not necessarily. I don't see it as stabbing anyone in the back, though. The first thing companies generally do is have you sign a framework contract, that covers all of that stuff. They dropped the ball; the same ball that you now get to run with.

Edit: just saw the Frollein's post. What she said...

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Posted

Thanks for your insights on the matter...now I will feel more comfortable to just apply for the other jobs, and whatever comes comes...

thnx for wishes frollein :)

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Posted

If the positions you're talking about all fall under the same hiring manager, he/she won't appreciate that you've applied to both positions, regardless of the fact that your application came through separate channels (one from the recruiter, the other directly from you). It will not reflect very well on you. The hiring manager will think you don't know where you're good at, desperate for a job, or have no direction, etc.

If your recruiter is very good, and he/she is working on both positions, he/she would've realized which position will fit you better, or to be blunt - which position you will most likely get. Good recruiters have very good relationships with hiring managers. Job advertisements are usually general, almost always listing off several technologies and skills. But good recruiters know the 3 must-haves of a position. All the others are just icing. Plus there are some factors to be considered that are not in the job description or advertisement.

Try to slyly get inside information about the other positions from the recruiter. And do your research to find out if the positions are all under the same hiring manager or department. Then you can safely send in your application, tailor it as well to whatever info you can gather from the recruiter.

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Posted

Sorry, stomp, but this is rubbish. It simply doesn't work that way in Germany. The company referred to you (and by wassimk) as a "recruiter" does not work on that kind of brief in Germany. As wassimk pointed out, they would send him for 3 months on a contract to the client's company. That means, there will be no hiring manager at the client company involved - both positons will run through different channels. The contract position will not be handled by anyone in personnel at the client company; rather, it will run through purchasing.

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Posted

BTW - There's an assumption on your part that you are better qualified for the other positions. You might think so, but the company (and the recruiter) might have details you are unaware of that disqualify you.

I'd interview for the recruiter's gig. If I got the assignment, I'd do the work and build a reputation with the company. At the end of the contract (if still interested) I'd apply in person for the other positions.

If I interviewed and did not get the contract, I'd apply for the other positions.

I would not apply for multiple positions at the same time.

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Posted

You are correct that the hiring person and myself might not see eye to eye on what I qualify for... but if I beleive I am suitable for a better job than the one offered by the agency, I owe it to myself at least to give it a shot.

Waiting till I do the interview or hear back, is a risk in the vacancy getting filled already, or even that the applications deadline would have passed by that time.

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